Root's epic 226 gives England 101-run lead over NZ

Joe Root's masterful 226 to highlight a return to form gave England a much-needed boost in the second Test against New Zealand on Monday as they ended day four believing they can square the series.

It took a five-wicket haul for the tireless Neil Wagner to bring England's first innings to an end at 476, a lead of 101.

At stumps, New Zealand were 96 for two and needing to bat late into the final day although rain may yet have the last word with further showers forecast for Tuesday.

Openers Jeet Raval (duck) and Tom Latham (18) went early in New Zealand's second innings, and for Raval it continued a disappointing run in which he has failed to reach double figures in six of his last 10 innings.

But after being two for 28, New Zealand's most skilled batsmen Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor prevented further damage with Williamson on 37 at stumps and Taylor on 31. If Raval is feeling the pressure of his slump with an away series against Australia looming, he need only look at the England captain's timely double century to see fortunes can change.

England were two for 24 in their first innings when Root went to the middle where he controlled proceedings in a marathon stand in which he faced 441 deliveries in nearly 11 hours.